Workforce management software and the gig economy

by | 16.11.2016

At the end of October a landmark case was heard in a UK employment court which could affect tens of thousands of workers in the gig economy.

The court found that Uber drivers should not be classed as self-employed and as a result should be paid the UK’s ‘national living wage.’ With a workforce exceeding 40,000 drivers in the UK alone, who currently aren’t entitled to holiday pay, pensions or other workers rights, the ruling could have serious repercussion, not only for Uber, but for the spate of business who have built their model on the gig economy.

The Uber model, like many others, uses apps and the internet to match customers with workers. The workers have, until now, been classed as self-employed. They will receive payment for the jobs they complete, essentially as contractors, and the business will then take a commission. It’s a model that is booming across the globe.

To be successful in the gig economy, companies have to be able to manage their workers effectively, a factor which will only be compounded if the employment court’s ruling is upheld in the court of appeal.

And it’s for this reason why investing in all-encompassing workforce management should be top of the list for any company running a gig economy model.

 

This is why…

 

Filling available shifts

Software like Quinyx enables available shifts to be filled both easily and quickly. Health and education recruitment specialists, Vetro Recruitment, use Quinyx for this very reason. They are able to match the right people to the right jobs their clients need by using Quinyx to fill the shifts.

 

Controlling costs

Workforce management software gives managers a real-time view of how much budget is being spent on labour costs. If these costs do rise (like they have with the introduction of the national living wage) then real-time control is going to be an absolute necessity for managers.

 

Time punching

The gig economy is heavily reliant on knowing what work has been completed and when it has been done. Time punching controlled through an app easily allows the employee to do this and, with some systems even having integrated GPS, it ensures there is very little room for error or exploiting the system.

 

Integrated payroll

Having a payroll system that’s integrated with scheduling and time management modules is essential for companies with a large percentage of freelance staff. It means payroll will always be accurate and avoids the unhappy employee complaining they’ve been paid too little.

 

Compliance

Contingent labour in the gig economy presents huge compliance issues. Having a system in place which can manage both risk and compliance, companies can ensure they are prepared and protected.

According to a study by the Freelancers Union, the number of ‘independent’ workers will be 50% of the total workforce by 2020. What’s clear is companies who start planning on managing a more flexible and transient workforce now, will be the most successful in the years to come.

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Tommy Tonkins

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